Skip to main content

Table 2 Self-complete postal questionnaires. Conceptual domains, operational definitions, and empirical measures

From: The assessment of the prognosis of musculoskeletal conditions in older adults presenting to general practice: a research protocol

Conceptual domain Operational definition Empirical measure No. of items When
Index pain location Site of index pain complaint Choice of anatomical site 1 B
Index global severity Composite characteristic pain intensity, interference with activities, and disability days (of the index pain, in the month preceding index consultation) Chronic Pain Grade [8] † 7 B, 3FU, 6FU, 12FU
Nature of onset Traumatic, atraumatic onset Yes/no/unsure 1 B
Episode duration Time since last whole month free from this pain Episode duration [9] † 1 B, 3FU. 6FU, 12FU
Multiple site/widespread pain Pain in sites other than the index site over the last month. Manchester definition of widespread pain; Keele definition of number of pain sites Manikin [12, 13] † 1 B, 3FU, 6FU, 12 FU
Pain consultation First consultation for this pain complaint Yes/no 1 B
Origin pain Cause of pain Free text 1 B
Consultation reason Reason for consulting GP for this pain Free text 1 B
Prognostic discussion Does patient recall GP discussing prognosis Yes/no 1 B
Prognostic importance Is discussing prognosis important to the patient Yes/no with free text section for explanation 3 B
Anxiety Anxiety symptoms in past week HAD [14] 7 B, 3FU, 6FU, 12FU
Depression Low mood, anhedonia in past week HAD [14] 7 B, 3FU, 6FU 12FU
  Low mood, anhedonia in the past month Depression Screening questions for primary care [10] † 2 B, 3FU, 6FU, 12FU
Coping strategies Coping strategies questionnaire 1-item CSQ [15] 8 B
Patient Prognostic Judgement Anticipated global change at 6 months 6 item scale (completely recovered through to much worse) (adapted from [11] 1 B
Patient Perceived Recovery Patients self-perceived rating of recovery Yes/no [11] 1 3FU, 6FU, 12FU
Age Age at index consultation Date of birth 1 B, 3FU, 6FU, 12FU
Sex Sex Male/Female 1 B, 3FU, 6FU, 12FU
Employment status Employment status at time of questionnaire Employed/Not working due to ill health/Retired/Housewife/Unemployed/Other 1 B,6FU. 12FU
Socioeconomic status Occupational class based on individual (i) current or (ii) most recent job title Job title – categorised as manual/non-manual according to SOCC 2000 [16, 17] 2 B
Living arrangement Live alone Yes/No 1 B
Marital status Marital status at time of Baseline Questionnaire Married/Single/Divorced/Widowed/Separated/Cohabiting 1 B
Social support Availability of instrumental support Single items [18] (yes/no/no need) 1 B, 3FU, 6 FU, 12 FU
  Availability of emotional support (yes/no/no need) 1  
Obesity Body Mass Index Height (m/ft, in), weight (kg/st, lb) 2 B
General health Self-rated health SF-36 item [19] 1 B, 3FU, 6 FU, 12 FU
  1. B = Baseline Questionnaire; 3FU = 3-month Follow-up Questionnaire HAD = Hospital Anxiety and Depression scale; SF-36 = Medical Outcomes Study Short-Form 36-item health status instrument
  2. † Contains duplicate of brief prognostic assessment question